This technology is a method for better managing oil extraction through seismic analysis of the underlying oil before and during rig operation. ## Unmet Need: Intelligent management of oil fields Oil extraction induces underlying flow patterns that marginalize the efficiency of extraction at the site of the rig and can force operations to move around and follow the most oil-rich location. As a result, additional operating costs are incurred, extraction prolongs, and profitability is reduced. ## The Technology: Spatiotemporal monitoring of oil flow patterns during extraction This technology enables intelligent management of oil fields by analyzing oil flow patterns via seismic data and producing a model to predict future oil movement. This technology contains an algorithm for reservoir flow modeling that can rapidly interpret and analyze seismic data, yielding a dynamic feedback protocol that provides managers with the ability to precisely control resources and generate time-lapse images depicting current and future locations of the oil. Recommendations regarding how to best allocate engineering resources in accordance with seismic analysis facilitate simple implementation of this software within an oil field setting. This technology has been validated in an experimental setting.
We will develop a 4D seismic reservoir simulator (4D SeisRes) that couples a) our 4D Rapid Analysis technologies (patented) for analysis of repeated 3D seismic surveys of the subsurface, with b) our 4D Seismic Inversion (patent pending) and stochastic reservoir characterization techniques that describe the physical state of reservoirs at each observational time step. Output is in turn fed into c) a massively parallel reservoir fluid flow simulator to predict the history of fluid flow within reservoirs under study. This fluid flow history is then fed to d) a newly invented code for 3D Finite Element Modeling of wave propagation in anisotropic (transversely isotropic), elastic media (patent application in preparation). The fluid flow predictions are converted in the seismic simulator into expected acoustic responses, which are then tested against a) again to create a constantly updating loop that is the 4D SeisRes monitoring of reservoirs. The loop is constantly iterated so that the system learns the correct fluid flow behavior over time (Figure 1).